A Gaudi Wednesday

Got up late, of course, adapting to Spanish life here in Barcelona. Went to the somewhat sparse gym, had breakfast and headed out with Ben and Susie.

The great Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi, is everywhere in Barcelona, even across the street from our hotel, where Casa Batllò is situate. Crowds lined up so we sauntered north to La Pedrera (the “Stone Quarry”), an apartment building, now a UNESCO heritage site. Just a momumental apartment building, completed around 1910. (Gaudi died in 1926 by being run over by a tram.) Even the photos that I will eventually post don’t do it its surrealist, magical justice. There is a scene in Vicky Cristina Barcelona there.

As much as that was fascinating and worthwhile, Gaudi’s major achievement, on which he spent the last 12 years of his life, the Sagrada Familia church was hugely disappointing, not because of its grandeur, but rather because of all the construction going on, inside and out. If you are going, I’d save the 16 euros, see the facades from all sides and call it a day as there’s huge scaffolding in the interior, blocking almost everything but especially the beautiful stained glass windows. There are also cranes outside blocking the views from the top of the stairs/elevator (another 2 euros). Best bet is to come back in 2030 when it’s supposed to be completed. (Mmmm, let’s see, 62 now plus 20 years, I don’t think so.)

Peter and Stacey Cronyn arrived and the six of us met at La Clara, www.laclararestaurant.com, recommended to me by David Lee of Nota Bene, for a particularly boisterous and fun dinner, starting around 10 p.m.

It’s easy to see why everything starts and goes late around here.